Chamber News – April 2020
Dear Chamber Members
Good day! On behalf of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce board members, I’d like to thank each one of you for being members of our community and our chamber. These are strange times we are living in, and we will get through this. It may feel unsettled now, but when we work together we can do big things.
As we all follow the Governors order to “stay-safe-at-home”, this gives us all a unique opportunity to review the direction of each of our businesses, develop and implement new strategies that may include online services, and really allow us to hone in on how to best reach our customers. The Chamber is implementing a Main Street Rockford business committee to establish collaboration among our Main Street businesses, implement streamlined communication, and most importantly provide the opportunity for special sales events to our residents and surrounding communities. The Chamber is excited to start this program and we are reaching out to you to consider joining the committee.
We cannot grow without collaboration. The Chamber would like to fill five committee positions for event planning, day of event details, promotion, note-taking/documentation, contacting area businesses for involvement, participate in Community Days planning meetings and/or Village Council meetings for cross-communication purposes. The Chamber will also have one board member participating in the committee to answer questions, facilitate meetings, and will provide advertising support. You do not have to be a Main Street business to participate in the committee, but it is recommended that Main Street businesses participate.
Meetings will be virtual until the stay-at-home order is lifted and can continue beyond for scheduling purposes. We will create a private Facebook group to share ideas and communication, to avoid bulk emails when possible. We want this to be a fun and exciting experience for all involved and respect that you have busy schedules with family, church activities and your business operation.
If you are interested in learning more about or participating in the Main Street Rockford committee, please reach out to Chamber President, Marie Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A World of Hearts
If you have spent time on social media the last few weeks, you have noticed a movement of colored hearts in windows of homes and businesses to showcase love and solidarity – we are all in this together. We encourage you all to have fun with this idea and decorate your store fronts and windows. If hearts aren’t your thing, our Governor has asked that we show our patriotism to also illustrate that we are in this together. If you decide to participate, share your image on social media using hashtags #aworldofhearts and #inthistogetherohio. Be sure to the Chamber so we can share your photos with our following as well.
Helping Area Medical Professionals
Our Chamber has reached out to our area medical providers to learn of their needs. We have learned that The Laurels can use homemade masks, gloves, regular masks, gowns, ANYTHING! Many items are on backorder, or orders have been cancelled due to increased needs. As long as it has not been used, and is in a package, they can use it. Van Wert Health needs larger sized masks to wear over our N-95 masks. By “layering” our masks this way, it allows them to conserve precious reserves of N-95 masks. Hand-sewn masks can be dropped off between 7 AM – 7 PM daily at the hospital. They are also hosting a “drive-thru drop-off event” at the Van Wert Health Center (Medical Arts Building) on Wednesday, April 8 from 11 AM – 1 PM. Simply pull up under the canopy and an employee will retrieve the masks directly from your car. Please place the masks in a plastic bag and include a note to indicate whether or not you have pets in your home. Donated masks are thoroughly laundered and sanitized before being distributed (cleaning process is different based upon if there are pets in the home). A recommended sewing pattern, along with suggested cloth materials, can be found on the Van Wert Health website http://www.vanwerthospital.org/community/covid-19. Your efforts will help make a difference for the people in our community. If you are reading this and know of any further needs, be sure to let us know and we will do our best to share this information.
There has been a lot of information circulating about SBA loans. If your business is experiencing hardship due to COVID-19, we recommend talking to your lender about options. First Financial Bank has helpful information on their website, https://www.bankatfirst.com/content/first-financial-bank/home/firstfinancialbank/sba-cares-act.html. You can also call the local branch at 419-363-3933. If you are a Peoples Bank customer, you can call (419) 363-9779 to speak to a lender about your options.
Speakers and Programs
As the Chamber of Commerce, we are working to bring in speakers, either in person or virtually, to help answer insurance questions about business growth and retention, finances, insurance and more. We recommend you follow our Facebook page, if you don’t already. Please know that we are here to help. Reach out to us, and if we can’t answer your question we can certainly point you in the right direction.
Thank you again for being a valued member of our Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to working together.
Rockford Ohio Chamber of Commerce President
Owner, The Marketing Junkie